In the past, police officers made short work of demos and beat down everything that wasn’t in the tree with three. Fortunately, such times are long gone, because the state has changed significantly in the past decades in dealing with its citizens: Law & Order have long been frowned upon, instead authorities have increasingly established themselves as service facilities that serve “customers” and theirs Make satisfaction – at least officially – the top priority. The employment office in Germany has transformed itself into an “Employment Agency” and the AMS in Austria has the service concept in its name anyway. In order not to hurt feelings, authorities have long been using inclusive gender language and whoever wants to, no longer has to limit themselves to two genders in forms. Teachers are only allowed to touch students with kid gloves, otherwise there will be trouble with the parents and the police meanwhile tweet funny memes and funny sayings. Only the tax office is allowed to play the bad boy from time to time. The customer is king. Please, thank you, sincerely your loyal state.
Admittedly, liberals have long known that the weak state is only an illusion, but at least some of the citizens increasingly believed themselves to be the responsible decision-maker. This course, which is sometimes outwardly softened, has recently wrapped the majority society in cotton wool and led them to believe that they actually have the say here. This is expressed, among other things, in the almost daily insolence that teachers, police officers and employees of the authorities have to listen to.
This new, tougher approach by the government in corona policy therefore feels unfamiliar to many citizens, because the tone of “enable everyone to have a vaccination offer” to “uncomfortable Christmas for the unvaccinated” changed very quickly. With the compulsory vaccination now planned for February, the government is taking action in a way that has not been seen for a long time. Suddenly the state no longer turns a blind eye to it, but takes measures that one would not have believed it could do. This may be due to the drama of the situation. Whether it is justified in all cases remains to be seen.
Because Austria’s corona policy has recently been mainly characterized by absolute scenarios: hard lockdown for everyone. General compulsory vaccination – you can definitely miss nuances. Such drastic measures should really only be taken after all other means have been fully exhausted beforehand. But was that actually the case in this country? Other European countries are at least more hesitant about compulsory vaccination. Germany has now limited them, at least initially, to health workers. In the Czech Republic, the corona vaccination is only mandatory for people over 60 years of age. Only the future will tell whether Austria or its neighboring countries have chosen the right path. But that much is clear: Mückstein undoubtedly goes “all in” to strain a phrase from the gambling, because there, too, it is uncertain whether the full stake will actually bring the jackpot, which in this case hopefully means that it never will needs a lockdown in this country again – or even, one hardly dares to hope, actually the end of the pandemic.
Speaking of lockdown: Here too, every day, every hour, even every minute, politicians should be able to argue well. And one thing is clear: “Solidarity” alone is not a sufficient reason to endanger the existence of numerous people. But it was precisely this word that easily crossed the lips of the red country chiefs when they explained why they completely shut down their state despite the high vaccination rate, free intensive care beds and a relatively low incidence. Most recently, Vienna’s mayor Michael Ludwig even announced that he wanted to open the gastro and hotel industry as the very last. Meanwhile, the Wiener Extrawurst is already well known: Wherever the opportunity arises, Ludwig immediately takes a harder special route and refers to the recommendations of his expert staff, which is almost exclusively made up of medical professionals. You will look in vain for representatives of the economy, gastronomy or trade in this group. You can only plead with the mayor via public channels not to unnecessarily extend the lockdown, but whether they are really heard is questionable. Presumably, these lockdown victims are not a red electorate anyway, because it is the founders, the self-employed with energetic visions, who must tremble for their existence. By the way, every day in lockdown costs the public sector around 70 million euros. You have to be able to afford solidarity.